Department News and Highlights
New Assistant Prosecutor joins PA staff
(March 2016) Emmet County Prosecutor Jim Linderman has announced the hiring of Michael Schuitema as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Schuitema, 34, joined the staff on Monday, March 28. He moved to Petoskey from Grand Rapids after holding prosecuting and state investigative positions in Florida and Michigan.
“I knew I wanted to get back into prosecuting, and I was looking for a job in a smaller county. I was actually heading up north to ski at Boyne Highlands for a weekend when I saw the job posting for Emmet County,” Schuitema said. “It seemed like a great area to raise a family and to live.”
Schuitema is a Hudsonville, Mich., native. He attended Unity Christian High School and then Calvin College, from where he graduated in 2004 with degrees in business and political science. He attended law school at the University of Virginia, graduating in 2007. After graduation he spent five years as a prosecutor in the Lakeland, Florida area, serving the three-county 10th Judicial Circuit.
In 2009, he returned to Michigan as the prosecutor for Huron County, working from the county seat in Bad Axe. In 2011, he accepted the prosecutor’s position in Kent County where he served for a year before taking a job in Lansing to work in the State Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Health and Human Services, investigating Medicaid fraud by medical providers.
He worked for the state until accepting the position in Emmet County. As one of four Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys in the local office, Schuitema will focus on cases involving assaults, domestic violence and financial crimes, both misdemeanors and felonies.
“Mike comes to the Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office as an experienced prosecutor with a background in felony and misdemeanor trial experience after working in other larger and similarly sized prosecutors’ offices,” said Linderman. “Mike’s background and experience as a state fraud investigator will also be an asset our office can use to prosecute future fraud and elder fraud cases. I anticipate that Mike will well-represent the Emmet County Prosecutor’s Office in all three local courts as assigned, with an emphasis regarding the prosecution of domestic violence and fraud cases.”
Brand new to the area, Schuitema said he’s been impressed with the friendliness of the people he’s encountered at work and in the community and he especially enjoys the views of Little Traverse Bay. “I am really looking forward to golfing and getting out on the water this summer,” he added.
Schuitema’s wife, Andrea, is a school teacher and will be joining him in Petoskey after the school year ends in June. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Dylan.
– See more at: http://www.emmetcounty.org/new-assistant-prosecutor-joins-emmet-county-prosecutors-staff/#sthash.lPJj2rNi.dpuf
Linderman awards JL Sumpter with “Award of Excellence”
Photo caption: Emmet County Sheriff’s Office Det/Sgt JL Sumpter (center, holding plaque) was given an Award of Excellence from Emmet County Prosecutor Jim Linderman (second from right). Also on hand for the brief ceremony were members of the Prosecuting Attorney’s staff, from left: Stuart Fenton, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney; Mike McNamara, Assistant Prosecutor; Angela Lasher, Assistant Prosecutor; Sumpter; Linderman; and Kayla Nixon, Assistant Prosecutor.
(Dec. 19, 2014) — Emmet County Prosecutor Jim Linderman has presented Emmet County Sheriff Detective/Sergeant JL Sumpter with an “Award of Excellence” as Sumpter prepares to retire from the department in January 2015.
“JL has achieved a career of exemplary achievements,” Linderman noted. “We extend our thanks, appreciation and gratitude to him for his extraordinary contributions to justice in this community.”
In bestowing the honor on Sumpter, Linderman noted numerous examples throughout Sumpter’s career, including his extensive and unrelenting investigation in the high-profile murder case of Carol Kopenkoskey, resulting in her conviction for murder in the shooting death of her husband, Lyle. Linderman also highlighted Sumpter’s hard work and tenacity in the murder investigation of Trenton Mallory and for his dedication and commitment to the pursuit of justice in that case, which recently resulted in a first-degree murder conviction of Amber Smith.
Additionally, Linderman offered praised for Sumpter’s work in the Loesch child abuse case, assuring that justice was carried out in the mistreatment and horrific conditions that two young children endured. “Likewise, we recognize his work in obtaining justice in the Venchenko child abuse case in which an infant suffered a broken leg at the Defendant’s hands, and thanks to JL’s skills he was able to obtain a confession in the case,” Linderman added.
“He has had a career filled with similar successful investigations, resulting in convictions for countless other child molesters, rapists and criminals of all variety,” Linderman said. “His dedication to ensuring the safety of this community is recognized by all of us who work in law enforcement. We wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors.”
Sumpter’s official retirement date is Dec. 31, 2014, though his last day in the office was Dec. 19, 2014. He joined the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office for the first time in October 1995. In 2000, he left to work in the private sector and was later rehired by the sheriff’s office in August 2001 as a road patrol deputy. In 2005, Sumpter was promoted to a temporary detective/corporal position in July. In 2006, he was made a permanent detective/corporal and in August 2009 he was promoted to Detective/Sergeant, a position he has held until his retirement this year.
At age 42, Sumpter plans to begin a career with his wife, Courtney Angell Sumpter at Northern Michigan Equine Therapy. “We are a nonprofit therapeutic riding facility where we utilize a horse as the primary tool for children and adults with disabilities. We are also very excited to introduce an at-risk youth program in the near future,” Sumpter said. He also has his own freelance copywriting business where he generates marketing material for various companies.
“It is a pleasure working for the citizens of Emmet County. In this profession you meet people from all walks of life, but one thing is certain: We have some great people in this community,” Sumpter said. “Throughout my career I was privileged to work with the deputies of this office. I can’t thank them enough and they will always be a big part of my life.”
Sheriff Pete Wallin also recognized Sumpter’s service to the citizens of Northwest Michigan.
“I want to thank him for his years of service to this office and the citizens of Emmet County,” said Wallin.